Shotwell, the Most Beautiful Street in the Mission

A love letter to Shotwell Street from reader Neo Displacer, via our Contact Us page:

I think you should do a post on how Shotwell is the most beautiful street in the Mission. I think folks may say Valencia, but they would be wrong. It has truly stunning people walking to and fro,  but the street? Not so much, it’s a commercial strand. How about Dolores? Nah, it’s the border between the encroaching Castro at the 18th St end and further south it’s Baja Noe. 24th? Are you kidding me? It’s great to walk between Papalote at one end and Dynamo at the other, great coffee can be had at at least 3 places. But again commercial, and what with the strollers it’s not as beautiful in walking human terms as Valencia. Now I live on Folsom, and you may argue it’s beauty. The allee is indeed gorgeous but the fact that is four lanes ruins it.  That brings me to Shotwell. It shares tree lining with Folsom yet it is informal. I was walking down it today and was struck by its loveliness.

There are many old, pre-quake, houses. They are well kept. There were many folks sitting on their stoops. There were several grills fired up cooking meat. I saw some kids playing. I saw one sexy-as-hell girl. Oh god Shotwell is there anything you can’t do? My first place in the Mission was at the far North end. It was a railroad flat and it was dirt cheap. That was 1992. Junkies often parked their cars in front and shot up.  But I forgive. My landlord had AIDS. He didn’t make it the 2 years I was there. He was cool and it was sad he left. He planted 2 ficus trees in front.  One night The 20-something chick upstairs had a party. Hipster dufii, drunk and disorderly, swung around the tree and dislodged it from its shallow roots. Needless to say I was pissed. I carefully replanted the tree and re-staked it. I watered it and hoped for the best. It was the least I could do for my old landlord. That tree is now huge. It stands next to its paired tree almost as tall as the old railroad flats. [Above] is the tree. It’s on the left, its partner on the right.

Thanks, ND! Nice work on that tree, and on this comment. And for the record, I did do a post like this, about two-and-a-half years ago: Shotwell Stroll (3/27/2008)

3 thoughts on “Shotwell, the Most Beautiful Street in the Mission”

  1. I just moved in across the street from the buildings pictured, and I just wanted to echo my love for Shotwell. Even the 14th-15th street block seems to have incredible amounts of human feces, it really is a great place to be.

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